Aaron J. Thornton/ALOST

akoiki-passport2 – by Adesina O. Koiki
A Lot of Sports Talk editor-in-chief

EAST LANSING, MICHIGAN — The Iowa Hawkeyes still have a long way to go to find themselves with a realistic chance of making the NCAA Tournament. But they’re definitely heading in the right direction at the moment, and their latest move up the pecking order resulted in their most impressive away win of the season.

Payton Sandfort led all scorers with 22 points as Iowa used a decisive 15-1 run late in the first half to take control and, eventually, defeat Michigan State 78-71 inside the Breslin Center on Tuesday evening. Fellow forward Ben Krikke had his third double-double of the season with 18 points and 14 rebounds.

The Hawkeyes have won two straight, with tonight’s win building off their victory last Saturday at home against then No. 20 Wisconsin. Those two victories are Iowa’s first two Quad 1 victories of the season.

Michigan State led 27-24 with just over six minutes left in the first half before the Hawkeyes went on the 15-1 run that put them in control for good. Patrick McCaffrey started the run with a three-point play to tie the game, and his jumper on the following possession gave Iowa the lead for good at 29-27. Sandfort nailed a three-pointer on the ensuing possession to increase the lead to five before another McCaffrey basket made it a three-possession lead.

Pryce Sandford, Payton’s younger brother, hit a three-pointer with just under two minutes to go in the half for a 42-30 lead, and Payton’s three on Iowa’s final possession gave the Hawkeyes a 45-33 lead at the half.

Iowa shot 57.1 percent from the field (16-of-28) in the first half and committed just two turnovers.

*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Tuesday evening’s evening’s game, with all photos taken by Detroit-area photographer Aaron J. Thornton. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are XX pictures in total.

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Tags : Big Ten ConferenceCollege BasketballIowa HawkeyesMichigan State Spartans

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